Lockheed extends rocket range

Aug. 10, 2011 at 12:23 PM
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DALLAS, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin's new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System-Plus extended-range rocket successfully completed a 76.5-mile test mission.

The distance was an improvement in range of about 31 miles over the current GMLRS round.

Engineers from Lockheed Martin and Aerojet, the GMLRS rocket motor manufacturer, are developing GMLRS+ as a proposed follow-on version of the existing Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System to further extend the rocket's range and add a new capability for a "scalable-effects" warhead.

"With this latest test, we have demonstrated the GMLRS+ range that our soldiers and Marines have been requesting," said Scott Arnold, vice president of precision fires in Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control business.

"While adding this new capability, we are still retaining the system's affordability, precision and reliability."

This test in New Mexico was the first of two Lockheed Martin-funded GMLRS+ launches planned for this year. The second test will assess the scalable-effects warhead in late fall. The scalable-effects warhead will offer multiple distinct outputs, which can be selected prior to launch.

In a November test a GMLRS+ rocket equipped with a Lockheed Martin semi-active laser seeker flew nearly 29 miles downrange, acquired the laser-designated target and diverted more than 490 feet to the target. The demonstration validated the rocket's ability to acquire a laser-designated target after launch and divert to it.

GMLRS+ is a Lockheed Martin internal research and development program to upgrade the combat-proven GMLRS Unitary system, and integrate new capabilities into the existing GMLRS guidance/navigation package and airframe.

It will accommodate various warheads and will operate seamlessly within the current High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

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